Forza Horizon 2 (Xbox One)

Street racing series introduces high speed to the Mediterranean.

Microsoft Forza Horizon 2
  • Microsoft Forza Horizon 2
  • Microsoft Forza Horizon 2
  • Microsoft Forza Horizon 2
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Interesting new setting, larger than before.
  • Lots of cars and races to choose from.

Cons

  • Online AI driver functionality remains forgettable
  • Numerous functions limited to online

Bottom Line

Forza Horizon 2 improves its predecessor to be the next best racing game on Xbox One since Forza Motorsport 5.

Would you buy this?

The original Forza Horizon was a surprise hit when it came out in 2012. Using the racing mechanics of Forza Motorsport as a foundation, Horizon moved the racing from the race track to the streets for an experience akin to Electronic Arts’ Need for Speed series. Horizon has now returned with a sequel intent on proving that its success was no fluke.

A test of skill

The setting of Horizon 2 has moved from America’s mid-west to the Mediterranean coastline. The game world is significantly larger than in the original Horizon, and the new setting affords more variety in the surroundings. It is not a completely accurate representation of the region it is based on, though it means the locations are more accessible than they would be in real life.

Spread out through the game world are more than 700 events. Horizon 2 is also more flexible in how it lets you navigate a course, so you do not have to stick to the roads if you feel there is a better shortcut. You now have the freedom to crash through fences or vegetation and go on a cross-country trip if you think it will save you some time.

The main purpose of the game is to take part in races and win, in order to move on to more challenging yet rewarding races. There is a secondary objective where you are rewarded with skill points depending on how well you drive. These points are used to acquire in-game perks, such as making certain cars more affordable.

Cars for everyone

Horizon 2 comes with more cars than before, with a line-up of more than 200 vehicles to choose from. The car selection spans high performance coupes to exotic sports cars, though there are also everyday cars and SUVs in the mix. Forza 5 was one of the more visually impressive games on Xbox One when it first came out, and Horizon 2 does a good job of maintaining this visual fidelity.

While a lot of the racing action takes place during the day, the game really comes to life at night. Lights sources are rendered in real-time, so the illumination moves and bends in a realistic manner, and the long draw distance means far-off objects are also visible. The rain and water effects are also impressive, and the game maintains a solid framerate throughout.

Weaker aspects of Forza 5 were the modest scale of the game and the microtransactions required to bolster the experience. Horizon 2 fortunately overcomes these shortcomings, though it does bring over the online AI driver functionality from Forza 5. This feature was not that compelling the first time around, particularly if you mostly play the game off-line, and it remains uninteresting now.

A new challenge

Horizon 2 comes a good time when Xbox One owners are ready to move on from Forza 5 to a new challenge. The open world street racing that made Forza Horizon is intact in the sequel, and the game benefits from a new coat of paint thanks to the Xbox One hardware. There is a lot of content aimed at online players, though there is more than enough for single players looking for high speed thrills.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: XBox 360, Xbox One, Forza
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?